Monday, September 17, 2007

Update - American Doubling Rivalry

Yesterday, I noted in a comment that a self-appointed fan of Hizbollah and medical student, Hussein Zorkot , strolled through a city park in Dearborn, MI with a loaded AK-47. His blog shows how much he idolizes the Hizbollah cause, and, as the local news stated, he raised the alarm of many citizens:


But I'm not writing about Zorkot. That ad hoc "priests" find themselves "called" to sacrifice others (recall what Old Testament priests did to blood offerings at altars, not the announcement of "self-sacrifice" by priests on Stewardship Sunday) should not come as a surprise to anyone. Rather, I'm writing about the knee-jerk doubling mimesis that is tempting to Westerners still under the influence of the Gospel and, more especially, to those who are not. A blog I will not name has this quotation/slogan in its masthead:
"Every normal man must be tempted at times
to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag,
and begin slitting throats"
-- H. L. Mencken

That, by the way, by a died-in-the-wool American "patriot".

Here is the problem of the doubles, as René Girard posits it, in near pristine form. The violence threatens to escalate as the object of desire loses fascination and, instead, the rival/doubles focus on one another in murderous locking of eyes.

And here is where, for men of good faith, we must rely on the power of grace -- in prayer and sacrament -- to keep our focus not on those who would engage us in a mimetic rivalry of a global scale, but on the Lord of life. Our Holy Father will guide us, for our vocations are empowered from within the Catholic Church, and from nowhere else. And we will, as the old gospel chorus says so truly:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace.
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2 comments:

Aramis said...

A powerful, powerful post Athos. Amen.

Aramis said...

For some reason when I read, "the knee-jerk doubling mimesis" that as you describe and that is so pervasive, another image came to mind and that is the corresponding action (or temporary inaction) of those in the mob surrounding these 2 doubles. Many take refuse in the "numbers" not realizing that the "numbers" turn into the "crowd" and the "crowd" turns ever-so-fast into the "mob". The phase in which the mimetic spiral begins to get very ugly now is when we have so many lost (or content)-in-the-crowd people who suddenly become like a doe in the headlights locked down & terrified.

Again, it is so crucial for one to always be in prayer and alert listening for the call, as Jesus warns, or we too can become like the doe in the headlights, locked down, terrified and then suddenly swept up into the doubling mimesis.